BY John MacDuff, 1885
We will extol You, our God, O King, we will bless Your
name forever and ever; every day will we bless You, and we will praise Your
name forever and ever. We thank You for the return of another Sabbath. Again
have You permitted us to awake in safety, and not suffered our eyes to sleep
the sleep of death. May it prove a holy day of rest to each of us; a rest
from sin and a rest in God. May we welcome with gladness of heart the return
of these peaceful hours. May all vain and worldly thoughts be set aside; and
may we be enabled to worship You in the beauty of holiness.
But how, Lord, shall we come into Your presence? Our very
prayers are enough to condemn us. Our purest services, if weighed in the
balances, would rise up in judgment against us. We mourn our guilty
insensibility to sin; we do not sufficiently see its vileness; we have no
depressing consciousness, as we ought to have, of the plague of our own
hearts. We have little realizing sense of the infinite purity of Your holy,
righteous law. We come anew in the name of Your dear Son, confessing, and
desiring deeply to feel as we confess, that we are sinners and the chief of
sinners. We look to Your grace abounding over all our sin—to Your infinite
merit abounding over our infinite demerit—to the everlasting righteousness
and faithfulness of a tried Redeemer, coming in the room of our
imperfections. We would place all our sins on the head of the immaculate
Substitute. He alone can bear them away into a land of oblivion, so that
they can rise up to condemn us no more. We bless You that He ever lives and
reigns for our justification. We rejoice to think of Him as our Great High
Priest, with the names of His covenant people engraved on His heart, bearing
them along with Him in His every approach to the throne; that all power in
Heaven and in earth is entrusted to His hands!
Nothing befalls us but by His direction; nothing is
appointed us but what He sees to be for our good. Lord Jesus, we commit our
temporal and our everlasting interests, to Your keeping. We rejoice that to
You we can confidently entrust them. Undertake You for us. Carry on within
us Your own work in Your own way. Keep us from all evil that is likely to
grieve us. May we know the truth of Your own gracious promise, "As your day
is—so shall your strength be."
We pray for all in sickness and distress; for those laid
on beds of languishing; for those deprived of beloved relatives, and who are
mourning those who have died. May it please You to bind up their wounds, and
to soothe their sorrows: direct the unwavering eye of faith to that better
world, where every weight of suffering shall be exchanged for the exceeding
weight of glory, and where God shall wipe away all tears from off all faces.
Bless our own family and friends, both present and
absent. May the invisible chain of Your covenant-love bind us all together.
Bless our children; may they be led to remember their Creator in the days of
their youth, and to know that the way of holiness is the way of happiness.
Strengthen this day the ministers of the everlasting gospel; may great grace
be imparted to them; may they come forth fully fraught with the blessings of
the gospel of peace. May all Your churches, walking in the fear of God and
in the comfort of the Holy Spirit, everywhere be multiplied. Promote unity
and concord among Your true people. May that predicted period soon arrive,
when Ephraim shall not vex Judah, nor Judah vex Ephraim; when all shall see
eye to eye and heart to heart.
Take us now under Your care, and enable us, whether
waking or sleeping, to live together with You; and all that we ask, is for
the sake of Him whom You hear always; and in whose most precious name and
words we pray.
Most blessed God, whose nature and whose name is Love, we
desire to draw near into Your gracious presence on this the close of another
Sabbath. We thank You for all the tokens of Your mercy we have been
permitted to enjoy. Abide with us, for it is toward evening, and the day is
far spent. Under the realizing sense of Your presence and nearness, we would
compose ourselves to rest, with our minds stayed on You.
We desire anew to bless and praise You for Your
unspeakable gift—-Jesus, the Son of Your love. There is not a ray of hope
which visits our souls but emanates from His cross. He is the channel of
every blessing. We rejoice to think that He is as willing as He is able
to save "to the uttermost," that at this moment He is bending upon us a
gracious eye from the Throne, and, with undying and undiminished love,
pleading our cause. Lord, we come, casting ourselves on the fullness of Your
grace in Him. Sanctify us wholly, in body, soul, and spirit. Subdue our
wills. Bring them in righteous subordination to Your own. When You call us
to any duty, may we be ready with the response, "Here I am." May even trials
and crosses become easy to us, when borne in a spirit of tranquil
submission. Let us be living as pilgrims on the earth—weaned from what is
uncertain and transitory here—and having our affections fixed on the things
which cannot be shaken, but remain forever. Oh that Your love might be
enthroned more than it is, as the ruling passion of our souls—and Your glory
more the end and aim of our being.
May we give no sleep to our eyes nor slumber to our
eyelids, until, in our hearts, we find a place for the Lord—a habitation for
the mighty God of Jacob. Fulfill in our experience Your own gracious promise
"I will dwell in them and walk with them, and I will be their God, and they
shall be my people." Follow with Your enriching blessing all the services of
the sanctuary. May Your word be quick and powerful—forbid that impressions
be allowed to die away—fasten them as a nail in a sure place. May the
Sabbath duties and employments diffuse their solemnity around us throughout
We remember, with affectionate sympathy, the poor, the
destitute, and "him that has no helper"—the sick—the bereaved—the dying.
Lord, draw near to all such; let them know that You have grace in store for
their every time of need, and that there is no lack to those who fear You.
We desire for our friends Your benediction and blessing. May You watch
between them and us when we are absent one from another. O omnipresent God,
show that no distance can sever from You—give them every token of Your
love—preserve them from danger—guard them from temptation—number them with
Your saints in glory everlasting.
Bless the lambs of the flock—more especially those now
before You. Shepherd of Israel, make them Yours. Bring them to the fold of
grace on earth—and to Your heaven of glory hereafter. Bless
that branch of Your Church with which we are connected; bless Your holy
Church universal. Have mercy on those who are still sitting in darkness and
in the region and shadow of death. May a lifted-up Savior, by the
attractive power of His cross, draw all men unto Him. We commend us,
blessed Lord, to You, and to the word of Your grace. Watch over us during
the unconscious hours of sleep. May we awake in the morning in Your favor;
that so every new day being spent to Your glory, may find us better fitted
for entering on the joys of Your everlasting Kingdom; through the merits of
Jesus Christ, our only Savior. Amen.
O God, You are the Infinite, Eternal, Unchangeable
Jehovah. You are exalted far above our adorations and praises. Angels and
archangels veil their faces with their wings in Your presence, and cry out,
"Unclean, unclean!" We acknowledge our great unworthiness; we mourn our many
sins. Your law has been set at nothing by us; Your love has been slighted;
Your Spirit grieved; Your sovereignty disowned. We have been unmindful of
You in prosperity. We have been prone to repine at Your righteous
ordinations in adversity. We have not endeavored to hallow all life's
duties with Your favor. We have not sought Your glory with singleness of
eye. We have too often indulged in feelings and desires, in tempers and
affections, inconsistent with our profession as followers of the Lord Jesus.
Not only do our iniquities, but our best services, testify against us.
We come, casting ourselves on Your free grace and mercy
in Christ. We rejoice that for the greatest sins there is a great and
all-sufficient Savior. There is no load of sin which we have, but He who
bore our transgression is able and willing to remove it. We will rejoice in
the Lord, our souls will be joyful in our God, for He has clothed us with
the garments of salvation, He has covered us with a robe of righteousness.
Enable us to walk as it befits Your children. Give us a holy fear of
offending You. May we feel all sins to be grievous in Your sight—and may it
be our special desire to gain fresh victories over our besetting sins, and
to be more and more fortified against the assaults of temptation. Strengthen
us with might by Your Spirit in the inner man. Make Your grace sufficient
for us, and perfect Your strength in our weakness.
We pray not for ourselves only, but for all whom we ought
to remember at the Throne of grace. If there be any in whom we are
interested who are still far from You, bring them near by the same precious
blood. If any are still loitering and lingering, may they hear Your voice,
saying, "Escape for your life, lest you be consumed." If there be any
backsliding; Lord, reclaim them. If there be any sorrowing; Lord, comfort
them. Bind up their broken hearts. Give them Yourself—the better portion
which never can be taken from them. Your way is often in the sea, and Your
path in the deep waters. But "the Lord reigns"—may this quiet all doubts.
May we wait in patience the great Day of disclosures, when "in Your light we
shall see light." Look down in mercy on our family and household; let it be
a garden which the Lord has blessed. May we live in the unity of the Spirit,
and in the bond of peace. Vouchsafe to keep us this day without sin. Be our
Shepherd, and we shall not lack any good thing. Keep us from, and keep from
us, all that would be detrimental to our souls' interests. And, when time
shall be no longer, may we meet in the unclouded sunshine of Your presence;
through Jesus Christ, our blessed Lord and Savior. Amen.
Most Gracious God, Father of all mercies, You are the
King of kings and the Lord of lords! The Heaven, even the Heaven of heavens,
cannot contain You. Myriads of blessed spirits are continually casting their
crowns at Your feet. How shall we, dust and ashes, presume to lift up our
eyes to the place where You dwell in glory? Adored be Your name, for Your
free, sovereign, unmerited love in Jesus. We desire to flee to Him as
our only Savior—we have no other we need no other. His finished work and
complete righteousness is our glorious ground of confidence. It has been
tried by countless multitudes; and the blood that has cleansed their guilty
souls, has an undiminished efficacy and all-sufficiency for us.
To You, O God, we commit the keeping of our temporal and
eternal interests. We cannot be in better hands than in Yours. Whether it be
to do, or to bear Your will—may it be ours meekly to say, "Even so, Father!"
Whatever may most conduce to Your glory and our good—appoint for us. Be ever
near us—not as a wayfaring man that turns aside to tarry for only a night,
but gladdening us with the continual sense of Your presence and favor.
Give us grace always to realize how transient and
fleeting existence is. Let us feel the precarious tenure by which we hold
earth's best blessings. We cannot tell what a day or an hour may bring
forth. Whatever our hand finds to do, may we do it with our might,
remembering that there is no device, nor work, nor labor, in the grave where
we are going.
Bless all our dear friends; let them be related to You in
the better bonds of the everlasting covenant; preserve their bodies from
danger, and their souls from sin. May our household be a household of faith;
may its lintels have sprinkled on them the blessed symbol of covenant love.
Bless those in sorrow; may they feel that all are
"need-be" trials. Let this be their comfort in their affliction, "If we
suffer with Him, we shall be also glorified together." Let them look forward
to that hour, when their sorrow shall be turned into joy; when God Himself
shall be with them and be their God, and when all tears shall be wiped from
off all faces. Give each of us grace to be so living, that ours at last may
be an "abundant entrance" into Your everlasting Kingdom. Keep us waiting;
keep us watching; that when the cry shall be heard in the midst of the
heavens, "Behold, the Bridegroom comes!" we may be able joyfully to respond,
"Even so, come, Lord Jesus! Come quickly!"
Before we lie down to sleep this night, renew to us the
gracious sense of sin forgiven; and if spared until tomorrow, let us rise
refreshed for duty, and fitted for Your service. And all that we ask, is for
the sake of Him whom You hear always, and to whom with You, O Father, and
You, O blessed Spirit, one God, be everlasting praise, honor, and glory,
world without end. Amen.
Almighty and Everlasting Jehovah, You are the
heart-searching and thought-trying God. You are of purer eyes than to behold
iniquity; evil cannot dwell with You; fools cannot stand in Your presence.
You have solemnly declared that You can by no means clear the guilty. It is
only because of Your mercies in Christ, that we are not consumed, and that
You have not executed against us the cumberer's awful doom. We bless You for
all that Jesus has done—and for all that He is willing to do. We bless You
that He is now exalted as a Prince and a Savior; that having purged our
sins, He has forever sat down on the right hand of God; and that there He
must reign until He has put all enemies under His feet.
Our earnest prayer is, that each of us may be personally
and everlastingly interested in His great salvation. May He be precious to
us in all His offices—as our Prophet, Priest, and King; ruling over us and
within us; making our hearts the habitations of God through the Spirit.
Spare us, good Lord, spare Your people, whom You have redeemed with Your
most precious blood; and be not angry with us forever. Seeing You have loved
us with an everlasting love, may we not requite You with coldness and
unthankfulness, or give You the wrecks of a worn and withered life. May the
best of our thoughts, and the best of our lives, be surrendered to Your
We would cast all our cares, and every individual care,
on You; knowing and rejoicing that You "care for us." Let us trust You in
everything; let us see Your faithfulness in every event in our chequered and
changing histories. How You have smoothed our way in the past! By You, our
crosses have been lightened; our fears disappointed, our fondest hopes
fulfilled. We will trust You in the future. Let us feel that the great
Shepherd, who gave His life for the sheep, cannot lead us wrong.
Bless our dear friends; may the Lord be their keeper; may
the sun not smite them by day, nor the moon by night. Preserve them from all
evil, in their going out and in their coming in, from this time, henceforth,
and even for evermore. Be merciful to the family of affliction; those laid
on beds of pining sickness; or those bereaved of beloved relatives. May it
please You to help, support, and relieve them. May they know Your own
blessed name, "The Consolation of Israel." May they take comfort in the
assurance, "the Lord will provide." Be with us throughout this day; sanctify
all its duties; go with us where we go, dwell with us where we dwell. Guide
us, while we live, by Your counsel, and afterwards receive us into Your
glory. Hear us, gracious God, and accept of us for the Redeemer's sake.
Heavenly Father, who has in Your good providence
permitted us to meet together this night, be pleased, in Your infinite
mercy—to vouchsafe us Your blessing. Scatter our darkness with the beams of
Your love. Dispel all harassing thoughts, and misgivings, and disquietudes.
Before we retire to rest, may our souls be stayed on You. Unto us, O Lord,
belong shame and confusion of face. We mourn that we feel so inadequately
our guilt and unworthiness; that we have so little depressing sense of our
alienation from You. We often confess with the lip—what the heart does
not feel. We often appear to be humble, when we are not humble—when our
hearts are full of self, and pride, and vainglory.
We desire to come anew into Your presence, casting
ourselves on the free grace, and love, and mercy of Jesus. We rejoice that
in His cross, all Your attributes have been magnified. You are now
proclaiming to the vilest and unworthiest, that You have no pleasure in the
death of the wicked, but rather that he would turn from his wickedness and
live. Turn us, O Lord, and we shall be turned! Enable us to receive this
blessed Physician of souls, who heals all our diseases. And having tasted
and seen that the Lord is gracious, enable us to live as those who are not
their own, but bought with a price. May we be willing to be anything, and to
do anything, and to suffer anything for that Savior, who has done and
suffered so much for us! May our only grief be "to give Him pain." May our
"joy be to serve and follow Him." Keep us from temptation. Support and
deliver us when we are tempted. Sanctify us by the indwelling of Your Holy
Spirit, and bring us to live more under the influence of unseen realities.
We desire to remember before You, all whom we love. Hide
them under the shadow of the everlasting wings, until earth's calamities be
over and past. Pour Your richest benediction on this our household. Known
unto You are all our varied circumstances, our peculiar trials, and
temptations, and perplexities. Our every burden we cast on a faithful God.
Our souls, our lives, our cares, we leave entirely in Your hands, saying,
"Undertake for us." Pity the afflicted. Be the Father of the Fatherless, the
Husband of the widow, the stranger's shield, and the orphan's stay. Let them
know that when heart and flesh faint and fail, You are the strength of their
heart, and their portion forever. We now commend us all, to Your gracious
keeping. The darkness of night has gathered around us; but do lift upon us,
O God, the light of Your countenance. It cannot be night if You are near.
Watch over us during sleep, and when we awake may we be still with You. We
ask these, and all other blessings, trusting in the merits and mediation of
Jesus Christ, Your only Son, our Savior, who with the Father and the Holy
Spirit, ever lives and reigns, world without end. Amen.
Gracious Father, Source and Giver of every good and every
perfect gift—draw near to us this day in Your undeserved kindness—visit us
with that love which You bear unto Your own. We are receiving, morning after
morning, new proofs of Your care—new pledges of Your mercy. You are
loading us with Your benefits, though we have been ungrateful and
unthankful. It is in the name, and trusting in the merits of Your dear
Son alone, that we can have any confidence in approaching You. We rejoice
that we have always a safe shelter at the foot of His cross. We rejoice that
there, every attribute of Your nature, and every requirement of Your law,
have been vindicated and magnified. Myriads are now in glory to bear witness
to the power and love of an all-gracious Savior. And what grace has done,
grace can still do: "the faithful saying" has lost none of its faithfulness.
Lord Jesus, stretch forth Your supporting hand. Save us, else we perish!
There is not a sin but You can cancel—there is not the unsanctified heart
which Your promised Spirit is unable to convert into a Temple of the living
God. Keep us from evil; preserve us from temptation.
As good soldiers, may we place ourselves under Your
banners; animated by holy allegiance to Him who is the great Captain of our
salvation. We would seek to repose on the Divine promises. May our
weakness drive us to Almighty strength. Good Lord, keep us, by Your
grace, from an uneven walk, from inconsistency of conduct. May we be gentle,
and lowly, meek, and forgiving. May we overcome evil with good.
Bless this family and household. May it be one of the
Tabernacles of the righteous, where the voice of joy and melody is often
heard. May the lambs of the flock be the special care of the great and good
Shepherd. Blessed Jesus, seal to them early an interest in Your
covenant—write their names in Your Book of Life.
We pray for all in sorrow; may they look to the hand
which was pierced for them, to bind up their bleeding wounds. May He who
graciously said of old, "I know their sorrows," be near, with His own
exalted sympathy, to minister to their varied experiences of trial.
We pray for Your cause throughout the world. Bless our
nation; may it be the honored instrument, among the kingdoms of the earth,
in greatly promoting the glory of God. Bless every rank and condition; may
Your favor encompass all as with a shield. Be with us, blessed Lord, this
day. May Your angels encamp round about us and keep us in all our ways. And
when we come to die, receive us into everlasting habitations, for the sake
of Jesus Christ, our only Savior. Amen.
Most Blessed God, You have again, in the multitude of
Your mercies, permitted us to meet together around Your footstool. Giver of
all grace, draw near to us; enable us to end another day with You, and to
retire to rest, in the conscious possession of Your friendship and love.
What are we—that we should be permitted to approach such a glorious and
infinite God! We are dust and ashes—creatures of a day—who might, long
before now, have been righteously spurned from Your presence! Blessed be
Your great and holy name, for all the manifold proofs of Your favor. Your
ways are not as our ways; had they been so—we must all of us have perished
without hope! It is of the Lord's mercies that we are not consumed.
Do give to each of us this night, to know the blessedness
of being at peace with You—of taking hold on that everlasting covenant,
which is well-ordered in all things and sure; looking away from our guilty
selves and our guilty doings, to Him who has done all and suffered all, and
procured all for us! Give us a deep and abiding sense of our vileness and
unworthiness. May every sin which has usurped the throne of our affections
be cast down, that God Himself may be our all in all. May we seek to imbibe
more of the spirit, and to copy more of the example, of our Divine Redeemer.
May we feel it to be our joy to serve Him, our privilege to
follow Him, our sorrow to vex and grieve Him. Take us and use us for
Your glory; sanctify our affections; elevate our desires. Keep us from being
overly concerned and overly troubled about earth's many things. Enable us to
be more solicitous about the one thing needful; may we be covetous only of
the solid and durable riches of eternity.
Bless our beloved relatives; may they all be enabled to
claim a common kindred with the one Elder Brother on the Throne. Set Your
own mark on each of them: though separated from one another now, may Your
blessed angels gather us together, at last, in the same bundle, for the
Heavenly Garner! Let none put off preparation for death until a dying hour—a
present hour is all that we can call our own. May we be living in that state
of holy preparedness, that when the silver cord by which life is suspended
is broken, we may be ushered into Your presence, and into the enjoyment of
Look down on Your Church everywhere throughout the
world—purify her more and more; may no weapon formed against her prosper;
may her ministers be holy men, and may her saints and people shout aloud for
joy. Do satisfy Zion's poor with bread. May every afflicted one partake of
Your own consolations, and be led meekly to say, "the Lord's will be done."
Graciously take the charge of us during this night. We
commend us all to Your Fatherly protection and care; whether we wake or
sleep may we live together with You. And all we ask is for the Lord Jesus
Christ's sake. Amen.
O Lord, we desire to approach the footstool of Your
Throne, adoring You as the everlasting God, the Lord, the Creator of the
ends of the earth, who faints not, neither is weary. Your wisdom never
fails. Your resources never exhaust. The kindness of the kindest knows a
limit, but Your kindness knows no limit. With Your friendship, and favor,
and blessing—we are rich—whatever else You may take away. Vicissitude is
written on all around us—time may estrange the nearest and dearest on earth,
but "You are the same." Loving us at the beginning, You will love us unto
We come unto You this morning in the name of Your dear
Son. Our sins reach unto the clouds; we cannot answer for one in a thousand.
But we rejoice that we can look up to Him who has answered for us. Blessed
Savior, we would bury all our transgressions in the depths of Your forgiving
mercy. We seek no other refuge and need no other refuge but You. Relying on
Your finished work, we can look calm and undismayed on the unknown future.
We can cast all our cares, as they arise, upon You, feeling not only that
You care for us, but that You make these cares Your own. We can look forward
to the last enemy-to death itself, without alarm; the rays of Your love will
dissipate the gloom of the dark Valley, and cause us to rejoice in the hope
Meanwhile, O God, sanctify to us—the dealings of Your
providence. May these prove heart-searchers, quickening our footsteps
Heavenward. Let us follow the leadings of the Great Shepherd of the flock.
Let us repose in the blessed assurance, that we shall not lack any good
thing. You will not overburden us. We have known You in the past, we will
trust You still. Guide us while we live by Your counsel, and afterwards
receive us into Your glory.
Bless Your Church everywhere; may all its ministers be
men of God, valiant for the truth; warning every man, and teaching every man
in all wisdom. Sustain the faith of those, who, amid manifold
discouragements, are laboring in heathen lands; may the Lord send His Angel
to stand by them, and to shut the mouth of every gainsayer. Hasten that
glorious time, when the year of Your redeemed shall come, and the whole
earth shall be filled with Your glory.
Bless all of us who are here assembled in this home.
Known unto You are our several needs, and temptations, and perplexities.
Make Your grace sufficient for us. May a sense of Your presence hallow all
the day's duties, and lighten all its trials. Go with us where we go: dwell
with us where we dwell. May the peace of God, which passes all
understanding, keep our hearts. And all we ask is for the sake of Him whom
You hear always—Jesus Christ, our only Lord and Savior. Amen.
Most Blessed Lord, Father of all mercies, You are from
everlasting to everlasting God; the same yesterday, and today, and forever.
You have, in Your great goodness, brought us again around the footstool of
Your Throne of Grace. During the past day, many of our fellow-beings have
gone into eternity; we are spared. You have been compassing our
path—shielding us from danger, and guarding us from temptation. None is so
able, none is so willing, as You are, to befriend and guide us in every
perplexity. We can experience no real deprivation, and mourn no real loss—if
we have You. The Lord lives, and blessed be our Rock, and let the God of our
salvation be exalted!
We desire this night to retire to rest, in the assured
confidence of Your favor. Forgive all the sins of the past day—its sins of
omission and commission—of thought, and word, and deed; whatever has been
inconsistent with Your pure and holy will. Make us more zealous for Your
honor and glory—may we maintain a constant and habitual hatred of those sins
which have so long severed us from You. May we ever be near the atoning
fountain; continually hidden in the clefts of the Rock; that when the
last summons shall come, our end may be peace.
Bless all who are in affliction. May they be led to lean
confidingly on the arm of Jesus, and they shall be more than conquerors. We
pray for the whole world. Pity the nations which are sunk in heathen
darkness. Hasten the Pentecostal effusion of the latter day. When the enemy
is coming in like a flood, may the Spirit of God lift up a standard to
resist him. Bless all Your faithful missionaries. In lands where Christian
sanctuaries are not—be a little sanctuary to all Your true servants. May
they know You, as a prayer-hearing, a prayer-answering, a covenant-keeping
God. Direct their hearts into Your love, and into the patient waiting for
Bless our household. May the joy of the Lord be our
strength. May we feel that in keeping Your commandments there is a great
reward. As the pillar of cloud goes before us by day—may the pillar of fire
be with us by night. May angels gather around us during the unconscious
hours of sleep. May no danger befall us, and no plague come near our
dwelling. If pleased to spare us until tomorrow, may we rise fitted and
prepared for all the duties to which we may be called. And now unto Him who
alone is able to keep us from falling, and to present us faultless before
the presence of His glory, with exceeding joy, to the only wise God and our
Savior, be ascribed all blessing and honor, dominion and praise, world
without end. Amen.
Almighty and Most Merciful Father, You are great and
greatly to be feared. Your greatness is unsearchable. You are infinite in
wisdom, and power, and love. Your justice is as the great mountains. Your
judgments are a great deep. Lord, our hearts are deceitful above all things
and desperately wicked. We have done those things we ought not to have
done—and we have left undone those things which we ought to have done—and
there is no health in us. Have mercy upon us, for His sake, in whom You see
no iniquity. We have nothing of our own but our sins; all that is
good in us comes from Him; we would confidently repose our everlasting
interests on His finished work. Forbid that we should presume on Your
mercy—that we should take encouragement to sin from Your abounding grace.
May we feel that Your pure eye is upon us; that You try us, not according to
man's fallible judgment, but according to the standard of unerring rectitude
May it be our lofty aim to be the servants of
righteousness. May we show that the influence of Your goodness and
loving-kindness is to lead us to repentance—to reclaim our hearts from their
wanderings, and bring them into captivity to the obedience of Jesus. We
desire to take Him as our pattern in all things. When in need of direction
or guidance in any duty, or under any perplexity—may this be ever our
inquiry, "How would the Savior have acted here?" May we imbibe His unselfish
spirit. May life be a more constant effort than it has been, to crucify self
and to please God. Let us be willing to accept of anything with Your
approval, and to dread nothing but what incurs Your wrath and displeasure.
In our varied spheres may we seek to feel that we have
some work to perform—some talent to trade on. Let us cast by faith our mites
into Your treasury, that we may earn at last this Your own word of
approbation, "They have done what they could."
May Your arms be around all our beloved friends, present
or absent. Inscribe their names in the Lamb's Book of Life; may they be
Yours on that day when you make up Your jewels.
Sanctify sorrow to the sons and daughters of affliction;
let them not murmur under Your Fatherly chastisements; let them own Your
Sovereignty, and take comfort in the thought that You do all things well;
seeing no hand but Yours in the bestowing and removing the gifts of Your
bounty. "The Lord reigns, let the earth be glad!" We commend ourselves,
blessed Lord, to You, and to the word of Your grace. Hear, answer, and
accept of us, for the sake of Him whom You hear always, and to whom, with
You, the Father, and You ever blessed Spirit—Three in One in covenant for
our Redemption—be ascribed all blessing, and honor, and glory, and
praise—world without end. Amen.
O Lord, we desire to approach Your Throne of Grace,
thanking You for the liberty of access we at all times enjoy into Your
presence. We bless You that the gates of prayer are always open; that You
regard the cry of the needy, and never say unto any of the seed of Jacob,
"Seek my face in vain."
How unworthy are we to come to Your footstool. There is
enough of coldness in our prayers, of insincerity in our repentance, of
imperfection in our best attempts to serve You—that were we tried by these,
we must have perished forever! Our prayers themselves require forgiveness.
Blessed Jesus, great covenant Angel—let down Your golden censer into the
midst of us this night, that we may have these our petitions perfumed with
the incense of Your adorable merits. In You alone are our persons and our
services rendered acceptable. We flee to the foot of Your cross. Here we are
safe, though everywhere else we be in danger. Let us exercise a simple
confidence and trust in Your completed work. We bring every sin to Your
atoning blood—every wound to Your healing. May we have You in all, and for
all the duties and difficulties and trials of life. Disarm all life's
crosses—sanctify its losses. May prosperity and adversity be alike used for
Let us hate evil. Make us feel how cherished sin
ruins our peace, and unfits us for the enjoyment of You and Your service.
Keep us especially from presumptuous sins, let them not have dominion over
us. Loving You our God, may we love our fellow-men; may we be patient and
unselfish, forbearing and forgiving, lowly and meek, full of pity and
courteous. Let us overcome evil with good. May all we do be done in love.
May we show, by our Christ-like walk and life, who we belong to. May we not
be conformed to the sinful practices and base compliances of a world lying
in wickedness; but seek to have our conduct molded in conformity with Your
O sympathizing Savior, be the Friend of the friendless;
the support and solace of the bereaved. There are nameless sorrows on earth
which are beyond the reach of the tenderest human sympathy; blessed Jesus,
make them Yours. This is Your sublime prerogative, "I know their sorrows."
Let all Your tried people with joy anticipate that gladsome morning, when
the shadow of death shall be merged in eternal glory.
Bless our beloved friends; may Your loving eye rest upon
them; may a sense of Your favor pervade all their doings. May none be found
missing at Your right hand, on the Great Day. Let us seek to order our plans
as dying creatures. Night after night, as we retire to rest, may we think of
that deeper darkness, which must, sooner or later, gather around us.
Shepherd of Israel, who never slumbers and never sleeps, be very near us. As
we now retire to rest, may we repose in Your keeping; and in the morning,
when we rise, may we rise refreshed for duty—fitted for whatever may be in
store for us. Hear us, blessed God, and grant us an abundant answer, for the
sake of Him whom You hear always. Amen.
O Lord, we desire to come into Your blessed presence on
this, the morning of a new day, adoring You for all Your mercies. Last night
we might have slept the sleep of death; we might have been startled by the
midnight cry, "Prepare to meet your God!" But Your love and forbearance
again permit us to meet on praying ground; the day of grace is lengthened,
and the God of grace waits to be gracious. Lord, we look back with amazement
at Your patience. Mercies have been abused; providences have been slighted;
warnings have been neglected. Our lives contain a long retrospect of
ingratitude and guilt. Justly might You have said, "Let them alone! Why
should they be stricken any more?" But You are not willing to leave us in
our state of estrangement and sin. You are ever opening up a way for the
return of Your prodigal and wayward children. In wrath You are remembering
We have still the richest encouragement to repair to the
opened fountain. Jesus still waits—His blood still cleanses—His Spirit still
pleads. The faithful saying is as faithful as ever, "Him that comes unto me
I will never cast out." Your thoughts are not as man's thoughts. Had they
been so, the sinner, with all his deep depravity, and unutterable vileness,
and base ingratitude, would not have been thus welcomed, pardoned, accepted,
We desire to receive this new day as a fresh gift from
You. Let Your approval form, throughout it, a holy incentive to every duty.
Let us feel that we never can be happy, but when pleasing You. Let us be
aiming at a conquest of self; subordinating all we do to Your will and
service. Keep us from alienating existence from its great end, by living to
ourselves. We look to Your grace to enable us thus to will and to do. You
have wrought all for us—and You alone can work all in us. Strengthen us with
might by Your Spirit in the inner man.
How slow we are to believe that our truest security is
leaning confidingly on Your arm. You are faithful who promised. Your name is
the God of all grace; You give all sufficiency in all things. The cup runs
over that is filled by You. Nothing can come wrong to us, that comes from
Your hand. Bless all near and dear to us: all that is truly good for them,
in this life, do bestow; and, what is better, give them the heritage of
glory. May our children grow up as willows by the flowing streams, and be a
seed to serve You, when we are gathered to our Fathers. Take us all, young
and old, this day under Your protection. God of all mercy, spread Your
covering wings around us. Be our God and Guide even unto death, and finally
bring us to Your everlasting kingdom, through the merits of Your dear
Son—our only Lord and Savior.
O Lord, You are the King eternal, immortal, and
invisible. The Heaven of heavens cannot contain You. Myriads of pure and
holy spirits cease not day nor night to celebrate Your praises. All their
adorations cannot add to Your glory, or augment Your blessedness. What are
we, that we should be permitted to approach the presence of a God so great
and so glorious—and who is of purer eyes than to behold iniquity? We are apt
to extenuate sin—but no sin is trivial with You. We are apt to forget sin,
we are too willing to hide it from You, and to hide it from ourselves; but
we cannot evade Your righteous scrutiny. We cannot screen our guilt from the
Great Heart-searcher! All things are naked and open unto the eyes of Him
with whom we have to do. But blessed be Your name, though You are the
Greatest and the Holiest of all Beings, You are also the kindest and most
forgiving. Who is a God like unto our God—who pardons iniquity and sin!
Sinners—and the chief of sinners—we can find rest and peace in the work, and
merits, and righteousness of Your dear Son. Confiding our eternal all to
Him, we can rejoicingly say, "Return unto Your rest, O our souls, for the
Lord has dealt bountifully with us!"
Bring us to live more constantly and habitually under the
constraining influence of Your Redeeming love. May these souls of ours,
ransomed at such a price, be dedicated to Your service. Forbid that any of
us should be content with a name to live, if we are dead; and deceive
ourselves with the form of godliness. Let us know, more and more, that this
is Your will concerning us—even our sanctification. May we grow in grace.
May the struggle against corruption issue in the confirmed habit of a holy
life. May Your Spirit—the Spirit of grace, and peace, and love—dwell in our
hearts, and elevate our affections.
Keep us from pride—the master passion of our fallen and
corrupted natures. Keep us from vain-glory and hypocrisy. Keep us from
envious, uncharitable, unforgiving frames and tempers. Keep us from the
secret atheism which refuses to own Your hand, and which regards as
"accident" that which is the sovereign and deliberate decree of a Wisdom
which cannot err. Oh, may we be preserved in body, soul, and spirit; ready
to be presented at last, faultless before the presence of Your glory with
We would desire especially, as the week is closing, to
remember before You, all our beloved friends. God of all grace, dispense to
them Your richest blessings. May those ties which on earth are so precarious
and liable to be dissolved, be rendered indissoluble by grace; so that, when
we part on earth, it may be only to meet in everlasting glory.
Have mercy on all who are in affliction. O healer of the
broken-hearted, helper of the helpless—may every wounded spirit be bound up
by You. May the lonely and unbefriended feel, that in the loneliest
solitude, they are not alone—if You, their God and Father, are with them.
Spare valued and valuable lives; and may those who are appointed to death,
have the valley-gloom lighted with Immanuel's love.
And now, Lord, what wait we for? Our hope is in Your
mercy. Be with us this night. Be the Guardian of our unconscious hours.
Whether we wake or sleep, may we live together with You. Our wishes, our
desires, our interests, our joys, our sorrows, our friends—we leave entirely
to Your sovereign care and disposal. Prepare us for the solemn duties
and services of another day. Give to all of us a double portion of Your Holy
Spirit, that our souls may be fitted for holding nearer and more intimate
fellowship with You. And all that we ask is for the sake of Him who is the
Resurrection and the Life, and who with the Father and the Holy Spirit, ever
lives and reigns, world without end. Amen.